Reuters reports that Zimbabwe’s military seized power early on Wednesday targeting “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe but gave assurances on national television that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”.

Soldiers and armoured vehicles blocked roads to the main government offices, parliament and the courts in central Harare, while taxis ferried commuters to work nearby, a Reuters witness said.

“We are only targeting criminals around him (Mugabe) who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, said on television.

“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

Neither Mugabe nor his wife Grace, who has been vying to succeed her husband as president, have been seen or heard from.

Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change called for a peaceful return to constitutional democracy, adding it hoped the military intervention would lead to the “establishment of a stable, democratic and progressive nation state”.

The leader of Zimbabwe’s influential liberation war veterans called for South Africa, southern Africa and the West to re-engage Zimbabwe, whose economic decline over the past two decades has been a drag on the southern African region.

“This is a correction of a state that was careening off the cliff,” Chris Mutsvangwa told Reuters. “It’s the end of a very painful and sad chapter in the history of a young nation, in which a dictator, as he became old, surrendered his court to a gang of thieves around his wife.”

Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, a leading member of the so-called ‘G40’ faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party led by Mugabe’s wife Grace, had been detained by the military, a government source said.

Mugabe, the self-styled ‘Grand Old Man’ of African politics, has led Zimbabwe for the last 37 years.

In contrast to his elevated status on the continent, Mugabe is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.

Soldiers deployed across the Zimbabwe capital Harare on Tuesday and seized the state broadcaster after Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party accused the head of the military of treason, prompting frenzied speculation of a coup.

Just 24 hours after military chief General Constantino Chiwenga threatened to intervene to end a purge of his allies in Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, a Reuters reporter saw armoured personnel carriers on main roads around the capital.

Aggressive soldiers told passing cars to keep moving through the darkness. “Don’t try anything funny. Just go,” one barked at Reuters on Harare Drive.
Two hours later, soldiers overran the headquarters of the ZBC, Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster and a principal Mugabe mouthpiece, and ordered staff to leave. Several ZBC workers were manhandled, two members of staff and a human rights activist said.

Shortly afterwards, three explosions rocked the centre of the southern African nation’s capital, Reuters witnesses said.

The United States and Britain advised their citizens in Harare to stay indoors because of “political uncertainty.”

The southern African nation had been on edge since Monday when Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said he was prepared to “step in” to end a purge of supporters of sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Only a few months ago, Mnangagwa, a former security chief nicknamed “The Crocodile”, was favourite to succeed his life-long political patron but was ousted a week ago to pave the way for Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife Grace to succeed him.

‘POLITICS OVER THE GUN’

Chiwenga’s unprecedented statement represented a major escalation of the struggle to succeed Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has known since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe chaired a weekly cabinet meeting in the capital on Tuesday, officials said, and afterwards ZANU-PF said it stood by the “primacy of politics over the gun” and accused Chiwenga of “treasonable conduct … meant to incite insurrection.”

The previous day, Chiwenga had made clear the army’s refusal to accept the removal of Mnangagwa – like the generals a veteran of Zimbabwe’s anti-colonial liberation war – and the presumed accession of Grace, once a secretary in the government typing pool.

Local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, a leading figure in her relatively youthful ‘G40’ faction, refused to answer Reuters questions about the situation in Harare. “I‘m in a meeting,” he said, before hanging up shortly before midnight.

Army, police and government spokesmen refused to answer numerous phone calls asking for comment.

Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper, another government mouthpiece, ran an article on its front page saying Zanu-PF was “unfazed by Chiwenga”, according to a picture of its front page posted on Twitter.

‘DEFENDING OUR REVOLUTION’

Neither Mugabe nor Grace have responded in public to Chiwenga’s remarks and state media did not publish his statement. The Herald posted some of the comments on its Twitter page but deleted them.

The head of ZANU-PF’s youth wing, which openly backs Grace, accused the army chief of subverting the constitution.

“Defending the revolution and our leader and president is an ideal we live for and if need be it is a principle we are prepared to die for,” Youth League leader Kudzai Chipanga said at the party’s headquarters in Harare.

Grace Mugabe’s rise has brought her into conflict with the independence-era war veterans, who enjoyed privileged status in Zimbabwe until the last two years when they spearheaded criticism of Mugabe’s handling of the economy.

In the last year, a chronic absence of dollars has led to long queues outside banks and an economic and financial collapse that many fear will rival the meltdown of 2007-2008, when inflation topped out at 500 billion percent.

Imported goods are running out and economists say that, by some measures, inflation is now at 50 percent a month.

According to a trove of intelligence documents reviewed by Reuters this year, Mnangagwa has been planning to revitalise the economy by bringing back thousands of white farmers kicked off their land nearly two decades ago and patching up relations with the likes of the World Bank and IMF.

Loading...

94 COMMENTS

    • I can not wait for the same to happen in Zambia against the PF.

      Zambian soldiers should wake up and smell the coffee. Lungu is using them as his personal dogs to watch over him while he continues to steal money from poor Zambians.

      If Lungu continues on the same path of over staying his usefulness he will face worse than what his Godfather Sekuru Mugabe

      0

      0
    • I knew sekuru Mugabe s time was coming to face the suffering he put his people through.

      Lungu be warned if you continue clinging on to power by rigging votes the same fate like Mugabe awaits for you.

      There is always an end to tyranny and its not a good one.

      0

      0
    • Zambian repoters are slow! This happened yesterday, and you are only reporting it because i started the topic .. Ukushipula muleke

      0

      0
    • They are his students, that’s why they don’t want to report about it.

      0

      0
    • Our Military Generals are all sleeping. They should learn from their friends. We have a party PF?? that is so corrupt stealing public funds and no one has acted. Lungu abusing the Judiciary system yet no action. I can’t wait for 2021. Let Lungu try to force his way. We will make sure he is kicked out because We are about 16miilion Zambians? what makes him think he is the only one who can rule?? We also want to.

      0

      0
    • LT has now started rigging the votes on comments. I will therefore embark on creating another fair on line platform where this kind of rigging will not be tolerated.

      SHAME ON YOU PF controlled LT.

      0

      0
    • F**K you brainless Wanzelu, you keyboard terrorist. Hiding in the UK, your dick head cannot fathom the misery that a coup can bring to a country. [email protected]@dy numpty.
      You are so brainless you fail to see that there is absolutely no parallel between the Zimbabwean scenerio and the Zambian one. If you are hoping to bring in your half wit stooge, HH, by the back door you are in for a rude awakening.

      0

      0
    • UPND continue dreaming. If anyone tries to take power by force in Zambia, they will get to know the true nature of Zambians. We are not docile. We voted for PF and everyone with a brain knows that.

      0

      0
    • The Zambia Army must also flex their military muscles and nicely ask lunbgu to govern the country democratically and stop stealing from poor Zambians.

      0

      0
    • Mugabe’s people! Why can’t they tell him that his time expired a long time ago? What are they scared of?What has he inoculated them with? Can they be that forgiving? He is their hero, I understand. But how much of a war hero was he? What about all the others – those whom he has eliminated? The very thought he has been grooming his wife to take-over – how repugnant!

      0

      0
    • First of all those who are saying the military in Zambia should do the same are 1diots of a first class rank the same kind of Human Hyena (HH) that goes on BBC and makes a complete 1mbecile of itself!

      As for Zim this is karma if indeed it turns out to be successful for the army! Let it be known however that elements of the Zim army are hard core Zanu-PF such that there is little to distinguish between party and army! So what is needed is for this to lead to a real proper constitutional change.

      Back home in Zambia issues affecting the nation should be taken care of such as maize floor price, the firing of Dora, Felix and Kampyongo as well as cutting down on expenditure of top fat belly officials and luxury SUVs then we will have sanity in the land!

      0

      0
  1. LET US ENSURE THE AIRPORT IS FREE OF CADRES WHEN JONATHAN COMES BACK FROM GALLIVANTING TO AVOID HIM COUNSELLING OUR GENERALS AGAINST COPYING WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD IF THEY WANT PEACE.

    0

    0
  2. Our army is disciplined, and professional, run by professional officers.
    do not talk irresponsibly about our army.
    ours is a professional army, not a political army.

    0

    0
    • …and all these urging the Zambian army to copy and paste are by every standard foreigners. We who live in the real and not virtual social media Zambia know that we’re no where near Zimbabwe.

      0

      0
    • There is NO gain without pain. Talk of spilling blood, how many lives have been at the hands of PF thugs with impunity? People are dying needlessly already under PF. How many more do you want dead before you realise PF is rogue regime? One life lost because of Lungu ‘s PF thugs one too many to just ignore.

      There is both systematic and direct bloodshed in Zambia at the moment. Systematic bloodshed occurs when people die for lack of food and medicines due PF’s corruption and negligence. Direct bloodshed continues to happen when PF ‘s use of machets to hack the opposition even during the burial.

      OPEN YOUR EYES BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

      0

      0
    • I agree with you. Change of government should be through the ballot and not by the bullet. The military in Zimbabwe is not after protecting the interest of the nation but the interest of selfish individuals who were eating with Mugabe. This group, including Mugabe have nothing to offer. The plunder will continue. What Zimbabwe needs is new leaders who have not been polluted by the Mugabe system. At 75, Emmerson should have thought of retiring from politics and give way to new leaders. What is happening now is sad. There is nothing good about military coups.

      0

      0
    • Bloodshed you say. In a Christian nation that should not be an issue. The Christian God has always shed blood to right the wrongs.

      The bible is repleat with bloodletting events that symbolize the greatness of God.

      Don’t deny your bl??dy God now.

      0

      0
    • A SOLDIER IS MEANT FOR FOR WAR MY FRIEND. SO IF A SOLDIER AVOIDS THE NECESSARY TO PLEASE POLITICIANS THEN THAT IS GROSS INDISCIPLINE AND HIGH LEVEL UNPROFESSIONALISM.

      0

      0
  3. While it’s great that the defence forces in Zimbabwe have stepped up to the plate and taken responsibility of fixing a rather chaotic situation, the same cannot apply to Zambia like others are suggesting.

    This is a desperate measure that the Zim army have taken, the chaos and infighting has been brewing for a long time now.

    As for us we can manage our chaos, and countless times in Zambia we have been provided with the Democratic right to vote from a choice of political parties, this right and choice hasn’t been denied to us in Zambia like it has in Zimbabwe, so there isn’t a necessity for our army to spring into action now or in the foreseeable future. Army take overs happen in unstable countries, and Zambia is a reasonably stable country in as far as Africa goes.

    0

    0
    • “…..countless times in Zambia we have been provided with the Democratic right to vote…”

      True but the statesponsored violence and brutality unleashed on the opposition by lungu in the last elections has never been seen in Zambia and resembles Mugabe’s early terms in office…

      0

      0
    • Sound like Africa has its own standard of stability. The level of absurdity becomes overwhelming when Zambia with its frailties is used as a poster child.

      There several other countries in Africa far better than Zambia in terms of political and economic stability.

      0

      0
    • That’s true, but I can never wish for a military take over in our country.. when military comes in, it means things have reached their worst in terms of national deterioration.

      It means all national institutions have completely Failed.

      And to be fair Zambia is not at that level.

      Our politics have become extremely counterproductive and are having a negative impact on the economic progress of Zambia, but it doesn’t call for military action.

      0

      0
  4. Let us stop this tendency of likening ourselves to others. We are different and far from Zimbabwe’s situation. I only hope the president keeps quiet this time so as not to be seen to issue threats. Long live Zambia, long live our democracy.

    0

    0
    • Now you maybe different from present Zimbabwe but the violence and brutality unleashed by lungu and PF in the last elections echoes the early terms of Mugabe.. …

      0

      0
    • I pray that Zambians will not be swelled by characters like Spaka like iliko. Life in Zambia is good for those that work hard. Those that think HH is their saviour will keep dreaming and wishing for a coup in Zambia which will not happen.
      A good number of us a willing to go into the bush and defend Zambia’s democracy and the vote for PF and ECL.
      Viva PF
      VIVA Edgar Chagwa Lungu

      0

      0
    • Zambia @ 53 filled with corruption

      “…A good number of us a willing to go into the bush and defend Zambia’s democracy and the vote for PF and ECL.
      Viva PF
      VIVA Edgar Chagwa Lungu..”

      That is what the Mugabe thugs said some 25 years ago when Mugabe started behaving like lungu is doing now….

      0

      0
    • It is the resemblance that haunts us. We should have been seen heading the opposite direction. We are not. Zambia appears headed in the same direction as that Zimbabwe took decades ago. That is depressing. It hurts.

      0

      0
    • Yes when the sadist in the UPND are stricken by time for celebrating when their friends
      And neighbours are suffering hoping their Supreme Leader is installed thru the back door…

      0

      0
    • I WISH SOMEBODY GETS A COPPER BULLET IN THE HEAD SO THAT THESE ID1OTS IN PF LEARN A LESSON. WE CAN’T SUPPORT THIEVES. WE ARE NOT DULL TO FOLLOW THE LIKES OF TERRIBLE AND HIS KIND. SOMEBODY STEALING FROM US AND WE SING PRAISE FOR HIM! NO, WE HAVE TO PUT A BULLET IN HIS DULL HEAD.

      0

      0
  5. Let us pray for Zimbabwe that the peace of God which passes all understanding reigns in the midst of this confusion. Psalm 33:12. God bless Zimbabwe!

    0

    0
    • Nonsense !
      Where has the peace of God been since Mugabe lost it? Say that to the refugees from Zimb and hear what they are going to say. People have died in Botswana and SA in search of peace while your god looks on with folded arms.

      For your information Zimb is not the only place in Africa where people have been subjected to unnecessary suffering. Educate yourself about the dire situations instead of hiding behind church walls. Nothing is happening there for sure.

      0

      0
  6. Its time for people to take their place in the governance this beautiful country destroyed by greed. Mugabe must be ashamed of himself, the next is Kabila and Museven. We are told these are mentors for one chagwa? Leave the podium while the people are still clapping, don’t fall in the same trap. Its time for Zimbabwe to get back on her feet, what a relief.

    0

    0
  7. Lusaka Times you should stream live the press conference to be addressed by Mugabe in the next 15 minutes.

    0

    0
  8. And what is Zambia’s military doing concerning the abusive and corrupt President Lungu? Kambwili has told us more than enough information to warrant overthrowing this monster. This thief and criminal has inflicted untold misery on us the citizens of Zambia. Lungu must fall! Lungu must fall!

    0

    0
  9. Njimbu and mu chembele mr terrible you better warn lungu that the Mugabe path he is following is a danger to himself and his familey …………

    0

    0
  10. Terrible , another erudite comment both armies have commanders in chief of the same political persuasion and whose actions are not disssimilar, i believe that zim army has acted professionally by acting in the best interests of s pipo. Both armies are there to serve and protect the country. Which zim army has.
    I look forward to your usual retorts referring to under5s and my support for upnd. What time is it maybe your shift has finished and njimbu is due to tskeover.. take that cheap helicopter flight home, as you said in other post it is cheaper than a car. Hey all readers lets go out and buy helicopters, i think terrible has the zambian franchise, hope they don’t cost $1million each and there are only 42..first in first served. Thanks for the heads up terrible

    0

    0
    • How you even start comparing Zambia with Zimbabwe I will never know, not even in my next life…!

      P/S. How are you dude, it’s been long…?

      0

      0
  11. Zimbabwe is a classic case of the kind of damage a single lunatic can inflict upon his country and his people. Robert Mugabe is mentally sick.

    0

    0
  12. Mugabe please step down. You have outlived your usefulness. It would even be better for the army to take over

    0

    0
    • He lacks the competence to do just that – to tell himself to step down. For Robert Mugabe, that is both an impossibility and an improbability.

      0

      0
  13. We are only targeting criminals around him (Mugabe) who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, said on television.

    Very dull general ,just get rid of Mugabe, why are you going round in circles ?He is the chief criminal.

    0

    0
    • Mugabe is very useful to these generals. Remember that Tsivangarai had won that election and the same generals threatened a coup?

      0

      0
  14. Vizungu my TIN pot friend kiki i wasnt but we have the potential. Have you looked at the colour cobalt. To me its a lot bettter colour than copper. Have you ever looked at the gemstone kunzite/ spumudene
    Good to catch up . Cheers am having a cider or 6 watching oz qualify for russia

    0

    0
    • Hey, you’re having a great time cheers!

      I am exploring every opportunity my Au weather friend!

      Only I have been distracted by the ‘symbolic’ cobalt-tungsten venture which I have just gone into after acquiring a sizeable piece of land.

      Catch you later…

      0

      0
    • Btw, I haven’t explored kunzite and spodu, maybe you’ll find time off your ciders-plus, sometime, to give me a heads up on them…

      Cheerio.

      0

      0
  15. It will be another episode if Lungu and his minions think this country is theirs,tu Kampyongo and Kampamba including ka Amos will face the wraf one day.Tulechula elyo bena bali busy nokulandila Edgar ifisuma chilabushiku ilyo tapali nefyo ba PF balechita kulaibafye akasuba no bwaila,mukachimona

    0

    0
  16. @Wanzelu

    To suggest that Zambian solders will react in the same manner ,is a fallacy of composition. Zambian soldiers would rather continue chewing the cash with de Lungu, period.

    0

    0
  17. The situation in Zimbabwe is unique. The “coup” is not about bad governance but about the old guard refusing to let the youth take over power and Mugabe’s mistake of trying to parachute his beautiful wife into the presidency. The generals have in fact held Mugabe hostage for the past 20 years. They are the ones who instructed Mugabe not to hand over power to Tsivangarai. It’s immature of anyone celebrating this coup because the perpetrators are the ones who have actually destroyed Zimbabwe. That general making announcements has grabbed more farmland than one requires and has plundered diamonds from the DRC.

    0

    0
  18. Mugabe ceased being president 10years ago, all along those who are close to him take advantage and use his name for their benefit.
    What can an old man like him do in office of president.
    All what he does is sleep and nothing else.
    However they like him as they put him in office.
    There must be something they want to protect through him.
    Zimbabweans can be tricky they are not like zambians.

    0

    0
  19. Good morning Zimbabwe , just woken up from their biggest sleep over !! I guess the lesson for others is : please do not wait until your resources have depleted to zero , act before it’s too late!!

    0

    0
  20. The cadres in UPND should do the same by removing this hh dictator who has failed to call for a party Convention for 10 years.

    Lungu is a true democrat and is safe and sound.

    0

    0
  21. Chikaona munzako, chapita , mawa chilipaiwe, we were laughing at how sleepy and docile Zimbabweans are, something has changed. Every dog has his day. Corruption is a killer, so if you think you can go on killing poor Zambians then know that the signs of the times are here. The fire is started like it was in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, just watch Southern Africans on the move. Be scared.

    0

    0
    • Mugabe how do you bite the crocodile while your a zzz is still in the water? You see now you Delilah aka Grace has brought you down.

      0

      0
  22. The happenings in Zimbabwe are not surprising the LIBERATION WAR VETS & Military Top brass captured RG Mugabe more than Ten Years ago. They had captured state power to benefit themselves. Things just got out of hand when Mugabe cleared all possible opposition to pave way for his wife Grace to take over power from him. This annoyed the old guards who had positioned themselves as possible successors to power. Uncle Bob and those around him miscalculated their moves and played down the influence the former sacked Veep had in military, intelligency and WAR Vets circles. In his statement after being sacked former Veep stated that I will be coming for them. In fact the Zimbabwe case is that of the old guards’ refusal to accept change or handover power to the next generation. Wait and see…

    0

    0
  23. A ballot not a bullet is a better way of kicking out non performing governments.A bullet will just ooze innocent blood for nothing.This time around blood should not come out at will.The blood that was shed during independence was for a purpose.It achieved its intended purpose.There is no need of shedding blood when there is a better avenue of voting out dictators.No one should solicit for civil disobedience in order to kick out dictatorial regimes.

    0

    0
    • If that avenue was free and fair, we would be counting on it to do us justice
      But, no, it’s controlled by dictators.

      How many times did Zim go to the polls?

      What were the outcomes?

      0

      0
  24. Hay, let us be logical. How do you dare to wish anything closer to that against your country? Where are your children going to go, your wives, your property. You will become a destitute. This thing next thing you will hear is blood shed. I can’t wish that on anybody. Let us be sober minded.

    0

    0
  25. Hope this Wenzulu won’t back down when government threaten to extradite him. A coup is not good for anyone and that’s why the Zimbabwean opposition has condemned it. In any case it will not hand the presidency to who you know who.

    0

    0
  26. Zambia Army must wake up and do the right thing. Lungu will rig the next elections, and the proof is here right now. UPND cannot even hold a rally or go to out of lusaka. Lungu does not obey the laws, and is busy stealing from our public funds. Lungu is surrounded by thieves and crooks of which he is one of them Kaizer zulu, chanda, thug on the copperbelt, kampyongo, etc are all thugs and crooks not worthy chairs in government offices. Zambia army must move in now and remove the rot we have in Zambia without wasting time. ZAF is led by another crook not worthy the uniform he wears.

    0

    0
  27. @Spaka like lilo;am sure your mind is sick.
    You cant compare the Zim situation or Robert Mugabe to H.E Edgar Lungu.we voted for Edgar Lungu in 6.5 provinces.Edgar Lungu came out number 1 in:Lusaka,Copperbelt,Luapula,Northern,Muchinga and Eastern.he also won in urban areas of Central provinces.these are the areas where majority Zambians live.SO YOU WANT OUR MEN IN UNIFORM TO SUPPORT A LOSER HH?AMAZING!!no sane General or soldier can even try to remove ECL(elections winner) from power so that your Kainde (a seasoned loser) can become president-NEVER!!!DREAM ON BA UPND AS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ZIMBABWE WONT OCCUR IN ZAMBIA!!we have a winner(ECL) in state house-period!!LET HH WIN THE PRESIDENCY VIA THE BALLOT AND NOT VIA SOLDIERS!!!

    0

    0
  28. I hope Lungu who warned our Judiciary after Kenya now wont go on to warn his army against whats doing whats happening in Zimbabwe

    0

    0
  29. I hope Lungu who warned our Judiciary after Kenya now wont go on to warn his army against doing whats happening in Zimbabwe

    0

    0
  30. Zimbabwe will far much better than Zambia if everything is handled well because army will wipe all corrupt leaders and will be tried under army court which will make them disclose where ever they hidden there money.

    0

    0
    • I agree with you, in Zimbabwe, they have machinery far better than us, they have buildings, what they lack is Materials coz they have no currency at the moment to buy from other countries, and if this is worked on which can only happen if Mugabe is out then you will see a new Zim…!

      0

      0
  31. @Ulibe Nzelu we know your crooked desire to destroy Zambia! God forbid! It is time Zambia began taking all of you to Mukobeko! That is treason. I wish one donki were still there.

    0

    0
  32. Wanzelu and Upnd cadres be careful with your careless comments. Please watch your backs from now on. Ask Larry Mwitwa…..

    0

    0

Comments are closed.